Goose Creek Wilderness Area is found in a remote part of Utah, adjacent to the well-known Zion National Park. The relatively small land area of 98 acres, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, packs a big punch when it comes to outdoor recreation. Visitors can enjoy unrestricted access to the wilderness area for horseback riding, hiking, and biking. The stunning setting is the perfect place to spot wildlife while picnicking in the shade of the Goose Creek Canyon.
One of the main features of the wilderness area is its namesake, Goose Creek. This creek is designated as wild and starts its journey through the BLM land at Goose Creek Canyon. The canyon is deep and an ideal place to spend a day outside year-round. Its steep walls offer some of the only shade in the area during the sunny desert summer.
Dispersed camping is allowed at Goose Creek Wilderness Area as long as campers leave no impact on the surroundings. There is no way to drive an RV into the BLM land, so campers in trailers and motorhomes need to look elsewhere for accommodation. Zion National Park provides the option of two RV-friendly campgrounds. Use your visit to Goose Creek to travel around the other great sights of Bryce Canyon National Park to the northeast and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area to the southwest. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to enjoy these unforgettable places.
Do not rely on GPS or online maps to get you here. Use a paper backcountry map to plot your route. This map will also be extremely useful once you arrive and start exploring. Heading south from Provo, Utah, visitors use the major highway I-15, which is easy to navigate in an RV. Take Old Highway 91 to go most of the remaining distance with a few turns - a right on Kanarra Mountain Road continuing onto Lower Bain Road. The boundary of the area is past the scenic Taylor Creek Wilderness.
Once at the boundary of the BLM land, park your vehicle to enter. Obey all signs and park responsibly, out of the way as much as possible.
If you choose to stay at the South Campground in Zion National Park, ensure that your motorhome is not over 12.6 feet high. The access to the RV sites here is limited to vehicles under 12.6 feet only.
Due to the wilderness setting at Goose Creek, parking is generally unrestricted. If you are respecting signs and not inhibiting other vehicles, it is generally safe to engage the parking brake.
Goose Creek Wilderness Area does not have any official BLM campgrounds available for RVs. Campers need not look very far, though, to find RV-friendly accommodation. The BLM property shares a small portion of its southern border with Zion National Park, so camping in this scenic national park is a convenient option. Of the three campgrounds here, South and Watchman are the best for RVers. The third one, Lava Point, has six sites and is only accessible for vehicles under 19 feet in length.
Found along the Virgin River, the Watchman Campground has a total of 189 sites. Rigs up to 50 feet can fit at one of the 95 spacious RV sites, some of which are riverfront. The area is pet-friendly, and you have the choice between 30 and 50 amp electrical hookups. Limited shade at many of the sites is an important thing to note if you are traveling during the hot summer. Some features of this year-round campground are access to a dump station near the entrance, potable water, and toilets.
The South Campground also accommodates RVs and offers a dump station, toilets, and access to drinking water. There are no available hookups at any of the sites, but each one has a fire pit and picnic table. The Virgin River provides a natural backdrop to the area with some riverfront sites here too. If your rig is under 40 feet, you can find a place at this beautiful location.
Tent camping is the only option for campers within the confines of the Goose Creek Wilderness Area. Due to the prohibition of any motorized vehicles, you'll have to rely on yourself to get your camping gear to your overnight spot. Access is only done on foot, by bike, or on horseback - no RVs will make it in here.
The area offers rugged wilderness camping with magnificent views and untouched grounds. For visitors looking to explore Goose Creek Wilderness and Zion National Park, the free BLM camping here is a perfect option. Remember to leave no trace and bring all your supplies with you. There are no designated campsites, toilets, or water taps on the BLM property.
If you enjoy exploring nature off the beaten path, then Goose Creek Wilderness Area is for you. The lack of designated hiking trails means no area is off-limits as long as you can reach it safely and without disturbing nature. The 98 acres that make up this BLM property are truly your outdoor playground.
The terrain can be quite difficult, and the elevation within the area changes from 1,000 feet in the canyon and up as high as 7,000 feet at the highest point.
The desert climate means that summer can get very hot. The Goose Creek Canyon is a good place to spend time in the shade of its walls where the elevation is low, and it's cooler.
If you're an avid equestrian and traveling with your horse, Goose Creek Wilderness Area is a fantastic place in which to camp and explore. Have your horse help with trekking in your camping gear as you navigate the miles of rugged terrain.
Head to nearby Zion National Park and make use of the extensive horse-friendly trails. Take in the sights of Zion like the cactus gardens, the Virgin River, and the Three Patriarchs Rock Formation.
If you are not traveling with a horse, you can hire one for the day just outside the national park from private ranches.
One of the perks of visiting a wilderness area is the ability to observe the expansive night sky without any light pollution. The stars come alive when the sun goes down and if you're camping in Goose Creek already, your evening entertainment lies above.
Star Gazing can be done year-round, as long as the sky is clear. When you pack for your trip, add some star guides and other information so you can identify the majestic sights on display.
The rocky terrain may not be the most comfortable place to spread out a picnic blanket, but the picturesque natural setting will more than make up for any discomfort. Pick a spot somewhere along Goose Creek and chances are, the only sound you'll hear is the trickle of the water as it flows by.
All supplies and any food and water you wish to consume in the wilderness area must be brought in by you. There are no water taps or restrooms here.
A highlight of a trip to the Goose Creek Wilderness Area is the dense wildlife that lives in and travels through its boundaries. Visitors can see animals in their natural habitat with little interference from humans. Bring your camera and binoculars to ensure you don't miss a thing.
The small wildlife you can expect to see here include bats, porcupines, and ground squirrels. Larger animals like mule deer and bighorn sheep also frequent the BLM property. If you're in the right place at the right time you may also find a ringtail cat, coyote, or gray fox.
Head into the wilderness area with your bike and you can explore all the nooks and crannies of Goose Creek. Prepare to ride on rocky terrain with thick vegetation in the canyon. Cycle along the wild Goose Creek and navigate all its twists and turns. If you like a challenge, the elevation gain in this small BLM property allows for multiple areas with steep inclines to get your blood pumping.
If your bike needs repair while you're out in the wilderness, you'll need to fix it yourself since help can be miles away. Bring a repair kit, first aid kit, and tons of water to stay safe.